With the Olympic Games slated to return to Tokyo in 2020 a lot of prep work needs to be done. And as facilities are being planned and developed there’s also the difficult task of providing entertainment, particularly in the opening ceremony. China’s powerful and impressive ceremony raised the bar for what’s expected of a country in terms of presenting their culture in a fun and meaningful way.

To get the ball rolling, the Japanese Olympic Committee held a survey asking everyone which musicians they would most like to see appear at the opening ceremony. A total of 143,394 people responded and the following top twenty artists were recently announced.

#1 – Southern All Stars
(8,939 votes)

#2 – Arashi
(7,482 votes)

#3 – Exile
(6,820 votes)

#4 – SMAP
(5,956 votes)

#5 – Yuzu
(3,760 votes)

#6 – Dreams Come True
(3,167 votes)

#7 – AKB48
(3,057 votes)

#8 – Hikaru Utada
(2,952 votes)

#9 – B’z
(2,840 votes)

#10 – Akiko Wada
(2,336 votes)

#11 – Misia
(2,240 votes)

#12 – Mr. Children
(2,146 votes)

#13 – Saori Yuki
(2,114 votes)

#14 – Masafumi Akikawa
(2,063 votes)

#15 – Masaharo Fukuyama
(2,015 votes)

#16 – Saburo Kitajima
(2,010 votes)

#17 – Keisuke Kuwata
(1,944 votes)

#18 – Ikimono Gakari
(1,888 votes)

#19 – Kiyoshi Hikawa
(1,876 votes)

#20 – Namie Amuro
(1,814 votes)

Naturally with a ranking of this nature, readers’ reactions were mixed. Some expressed surprise at the first place choice saying “Southern [All Stars] are still alive?” Others went after the various Idols and pop acts on the list with comments like “AKB and Arashi? Seriously stop. Especially AKB, we’d be an international laughing stock.” and “If we’re including idols, vocaloids and anime songs should also be included.”

Commenters need not worry, however. These results simply express who members of the public want to see at the opening ceremony and may not be what we’ll see on stage in seven years, especially with AKB48 who probably will have become a completely different group of girls in such a stretch of time.

It seems a little early to be choosing a representative band given the rate that music changes, but it’s good to see the JOC getting to work and testing the waters. Let’s hope they put on a heck of a show and start fitting the emperor for a parachute as soon as possible.

Source: Japanese Olympic Committee via My Game News Flash (Japanese)
Videos: YouTube – SouthernAllStarsch, ygvtfc872, avexnetwork, TheMurasaki0329, yuzuofficial, DREAMS COME TRUE, AKB48, Utada VEVO, Martín 寒山, MrChildren, ishizakiyoshifumi, YOSHINAMI HIROAKI, ky8211817, KUWATAKEISUKEch, Lyyz Muñoz, mxs2xs